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When HCI became a Healthcare Hero


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When a healthcare trust asks for help, it’s in everyone’s interest to get involved. This is where we found ourselves last year, when VMware asked us to assist a Trust that wanted to free its clinicians of the binds of carrying laptops.

With a diagnosis of fatigue and frustration at multiple logins and delays in accessing patient data, the Trust had been prescribed a VDI solution that would help them return time to patient care. The challenge was that their incumbent partner wasn’t able to demonstrate the solution in action through a Proof of Concept (POC) – putting the entire project at risk.

Perfecting the POC

One thing we know a lot about at Cetus is workspaces, so having the opportunity to explain to the Trust what was possible and then optimise the existing POC to run properly was exciting. To reflect how much our health service gives to us, we used this as a chance to give back and offered our initial advice and services for free.

Creating a Drop-in Clinic

User acceptance is vital, but you can’t take an entire team of clinicians off the wards to test out a new IT environment. To make life easier, we created a ‘Show and Tell’ drop-in clinic where members of the team could stop by and see our POC in action. Working in partnership with healthcare sign-on software specialist Imprivata, we demonstrated how members of the team would be able to move seamlessly between devices and locations using a simple smart card. Having received a big ‘thumbs up’ from the Trust we onboarded 200 users with the aim of scaling out to reach 2,000.

Prioritising during a Pandemic

And then COVID-19 happened, forcing the Trust to pivot to remote working almost overnight and us to immediately assess how we could support the changes they needed. Fortunately, the VMware technology stack and the skills within our team meant that we could use HCI to deliver a new path to VDI. While the Trust focused on reorganising its processes and people, we got to work on architecting the design. Thanks to our partnerships, we were able to ensure that the Trust could access the NHS priority hardware that was needed and get the kit onsite within just two weeks.

Delivery and Disruption

Never mind digital disruption, the past six months have been an exercise in reimagining how we live and work while seismic changes happen around us. Using HCI to help the Trust create a functioning VDI environment that could flex to – and support – pandemic working conditions required us to think and act differently. We had to implement while we were planning, automate the majority of the deployment, and provision a platform from our homes rather than client site. Delivering under such constraints was not comfortable, but in being forced to rapidly adapt, we achieved a successful outcome in a fraction of the time it would usually take.

Keeping patients the priority

Today, I’m proud that the solution we engineered put the Trust on track to support 2,000 users to work from wherever they need to, on any device – giving clinicians confidence that their infrastructure is designed to meet their priority of returning time to patient care, no matter what happens next.

At Cetus we don’t just provide IT, we transform IT together – which is why we’ve created an interactive live-stream series, Virtual Coffee, where we share our knowledge and invite you to take part. “VMworld 2020 – Everything you need to know!” is now available on demand. To sign up for future sessions visit https://www.bigmarker.com/communities/cetus-solutions/conferences.

Alternatively, if you’d like to explore how our hybrid cloud and workspace knowledge could help your organisation, drop me a line at robert.sims@cetus-solutions.com

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